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Learn More About Your Hobby


Ten Rules for Coin Collecting

1.  Learn to grade your coins accurately.

2.  Build a reference library for the coins you plan to collect.

3.  DO NOT clean your coins, and don't buy cleaned coins for investment.

4.  Don't buy coins directly from the Mint.  95% of the time, you can get them cheaper after the market has settled down.

5.  Check out dealers (try the BBB) and get on a first-name basis with a good one or two.

6.  Don't buy coins by mail unless the dealer has a reasonable return policy.  If there is no return policy, chances are the coin is overgraded.

7.  Never buy coins from a TV shopping channel, a telemarketer, a newspaper or magazine advertisement, or any TV commercial.

8.  Focus on quality, not quantity.  Quality will make you money.  Quantity takes up space.

9.  Be active in a coin club.  The more active you are, the more you will learn and the more you will enjoy the hobby.

10.  Collect what you like, and learn the history of what you collect.

Coin Grading Tips

1.  Learning to grade coins accurately is the MOST important skill you can have in this hobby.

2.  Get a copy of the Official ANA Grading Standards and/or Photograde.

3.  A coin's value is determined by: Rarity, Popularity, and Grade.

4.  Examine a lot of graded (slabbed) coins to hone your grading skills.

5.  MS60 is usually a problem coin.  An AU58 coin might look nicer and should cost less.

6.  Avoid micro-grading.  Don't use a loupe stronger than 7x for grading.

7.  Tip and turn the coin under concentrated light to look for hairlines, luster, and wear.

8.  Subtle color change on the surface of a coin indicates wear.

9.  Incandescent light is best for grading.  The worst are sunlight and fluorescent.

10.  Know the areas prone to wear as well as the strike characteristics of the coins you collect.

11.  Research has shown that one's ownership of a coin adds 1 to 2 points to their opinion of the grade.  Try to be as objective as possible.

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